tv Studio B With Shepard Smith FOX News October 23, 2009 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT
twinkling lights of a major metropolitan area like minneapolis, minnesota. instead, this is what investigators say happen -- pilots took off from san diego, flew the plane right past the twin cities and over wisconsin before realizing their error and circling back. the crusade -- the crew claims they were in a heated argument over airline policy, but officials are examining the black box to try to figure out what happened. we go to our chicago bureau to try to figure out what happened during national transportation safety board says the cockpit recorder got a portion of the flight that is under investigation right now. >> there are basically two styles, and it really comes down to how much recording this cockpit voice recorder records. there is one style which just ended 30 minutes on a loop, which is a magnetic tape style
typically, but we understand there are also digital recorders. the other kind is a two-hour recorder. according to u.s. airline regulations, they need to be able to record the last 30 minutes. that is the most important time. this plane, as were told by the national transportation safety board, all we got the last 30 minutes. that was well after that long 76 minutes where crown folks could not get in control -- in contact with the pilots. after they had some contact and after they had headed back into minneapolis-st. paul. rick: what about that time? 76 minutes when air traffic control had no communication at all with this flight. is there any way for us to find out exactly what went on? >> not based on what is the ntsb says about his cockpit voice recorder. flight data recorder would record whether or not things are
turned on and off, and a lack of movement or lack of things being turned off at appropriate times might give them some signals, but perhaps not definitively. whether or not there was a heated discussion in this particular cockpit could be verified or shot down based on what was on the cockpit voice recorder, but again, it looks like we are only going to get the last 30 minutes of that flight long after the emergency had been stemmed. >> argument, heated discussion, banging on the cockpit door, even snoring, i guess. these things could conceivably show up on a recorder even if the pilots were not wearing headsets? >> that is true. there are basically four microphones inside of a cockpit, one in each of the three headsets in there. there is also a microphone in the-that picks up wrestling newspapers, conversation, knocks on the door. it would certainly pick of noise is made inside the cockpit, heated discussion, snoring, whatever, but we will not have that, apparently, because of the
length of time that the cvr has. rick: thanks so much. more on this story coming up with a guest segment in a minute, but now, to florida where the search is on now for a suspect in the murder of 7-year- old summer thompson. word that investigators are focusing their attention on an abandoned house right near the little girl's orange park, fla., home. police identified the first graders body last night. she vanished on monday while walking home from school. the investigation now spanning two different states because cops found her body 50 miles north of her home in a landfill in a town called folkston, georgia. summers' mother had some choice words for whoever is responsible for her daughter's death. >> i want you to know that i will not sleep until this person is found. i hope they get you, and i hope they make you pay. for a long, long time.
you do not take from somebody. you just heard my family. you took from all of these people, and you do not do this to a little baby. you put my baby in the trash. rick: police say it is only a matter of time before the idea a suspect. chief correspondent jonathan hunt live on this story. as a father, i know, and i feel the same way. cops -- are they getting anywhere? are they questioning known sex offenders in the area? there were a lot of them living near the girl's home. >> we have that extraordinary figure given to us of 161 registered sex offenders living within a five-mile radius of summer thomson's home, but costs are now saying that they have questioned every single one of those 161, and they do not consider any one of them a suspect. clearly, the cops have their work cut out for them.
they say they will make an arrest. they are confident they will solve it, but not one of those 1616 of and is considered a suspect at this point. -- not one of those 161 sex offenders considered a suspect at this point. there is an abandoned house almost exactly halfway between the elementary school that summer thompson attended and her home. member, she was walking home when she disappeared, and witnesses have told police that this was the last place that she was seen, outside this abandoned house. now, they are going over this with what they say is literally a fine toothed comb, trying to see whether there is any evidence of anybody having been in that house, and also any evidence of summer thomson having been in that house, too. this is a vital part of the investigation right now. rick: the garbage truck just north in georgia where the body was found could presumably be a very important tool for investigators as they try to
figure out who did this. >> absolutely. a possible treasure trove of evidence, and again, they are going through literally tons of garbage trying to figure out if they can't find any clues at all. first of all, there could be some clues leading directly to the killer. there could be dna evidence, possibly a murder weapon. they are looking for that kind of thing, too, and obviously, what they are trying to do is track that the garbage to find an exact location in orange park where that garbage cans from. rick: let's hope there's some progress to report soon. thanks very much. let's switch gears and talk about afghanistan. word of new international support for help in the war zone. defense secretary robert gates today saying u.s. allies are moving closer to sending more of their own troops into afghanistan. this comes as president obama decides whether to send tens of thousands more american troops. as you know, taliban militants have been stepping up attacks in
the afghan capital. they have also been doing that along the border with nuclear- arm pakistan. steve is live at the state department with us, and you just got out of a briefing with the u.s. envoy to afghanistan. what did the ambassador had to say? >> the ambassador was asked about those reports out of the nato meeting in eastern europe on strong support the nato ministers are offering for the presence strategy that we now have in place in afghanistan, the counterinsurgency strategy. mr. holbrook said he had not read all those reports but does not think the president feels in any way constrained by nato or anyone else as he continues through this decision making process on the way forward. he says for now, our strategy remains the same. here is what the figure is more of what he had to say a few minutes ago. >> are in the middle of a very intense review of policy. we have not changed our
strategic goal at all, our core goals articulated by president obama on march 27. >> as to the root of coming runoff election in afghanistan, holbrooke says he does not feel there will be widespread fraud like last time because this time, we have more troops on the ground and more experience in operating these kinds of elections. rick: any word from secretary gates about support from nato countries, military support? >> he was in bratislava, talking to an aide to defence millets and -- talking to defense there, but there were no firm numbers being offered. we do not know what number of trips any foreign country might offer additionally to what they already have, and the secretary himself was unable to say what the u.s. might offer additionally because, of course, president obama has not yet made
rick: deal with no deal? could the acting reports out of iran that the denomination will reject the u.s. proposal that aims to scale back its nuclear program. under this proposal, iran would ship enriched uranium to russia for processing, and russia would send it back in a form that could not be used, a permit, to build a bomb. iran officially says it is considering the proposal in a favorable light and that it will give a formal list on sometime next week, but leaders formally reject the proposal, it would be a major step backward in the international effort to stop
france from developing its -- its leaders formally reject the proposal -- if leaders formally reject the proposal, it would be a major step backward in the effort to stop iran from developing nukes. >> it is not looking very good. that was the assessment of the french foreign minister, who says the signs are not good. iran has now floated its own proposal, which says rather than ship its own uranium, which everyone is worried about, even though it is at a very low level of enrichment, to russia, what it wants to do is buy fully enriched uranium for its medical reactor in tehran. what that means is that it would not be sending its own fuel supplies anywhere. and of course, what the world is worried about is a kind of break out a scenario where iran quickly takes that low-level enriched fuel, and rich as it
further, and makes it a weapon. we want to get that fuel out of iran, to russia, or someplace where it could be enriched at a higher level. if the iranians do not accept this, that is a very bad signal. rick: this is a lot of hutzpa, you know? what kind of position does iran think that it is in that it is able to basically thumb its nose at not just the united states but france and russia as well? >> it is in a position where it knows they do a lot of business with russia and china. they know russia and china do not want a third -- a force in this case set of sanctions against it. they do not want to vote for that. this is typically a radium. there is another worrisome sign, which is ehud barack, the defense minister of israel. he said today that he did not even like the original united nations proposal because it would still enable iran to do
some enriching, and they want all of the enrichment capability of iran stopped. we are really headed towards a confrontation. rick: you were in israel very recently. what are your sources on the ground telling you as far as the level of tolerance that israel has for this back-and-forth nonsense before they actually go ahead and take matters into their own hands? >> it is difficult militarily for them to take matters into their own hands without american support. that is the practical problem they face and also the retaliation. i was told when i was there just a couple of weeks ago that they seemed inclined let obama try this engagement to see if it would produce anything. if it does not, if the iranian ship them down, or if the iranians play for time, which is another favorite tactic, it is
clear that israel will have to reassess its options. israel takes no options of the table, and even though -- i know what they tell me. i also know enough about israel to know that it will be very hard for those of us on the outside to know what they are thinking or planning to do before they do it. rick: always good to see you. thanks for being here. cops are now looking for a ninth wheel the robber, on surveillance cameras. look at this. -- knife-wielding robert on surveillance cameras.
rick: welcome back. we have new developments at the white house today. major garrett is live with details about a possible replacement at the white house counsel position. >> good afternoon, rick. i want to preface this by saying nothing is official until it is official. it is not set in stone, but a couple of things are developing at fox news has learned. first and foremost, the current white house counsel is, fox news has learned, going to be leaving his position at the white house at the end of the year at the latest, quite possibly sooner. he was essential to white house deliberations to prepare for the closing of guantanamo bay
detention the facility. he will prepare the executive order that president obama compounded the second day of his presidency, setting a date of january 11, to doesn't tend to close the the tip -- facility, and he had this -- to close the detention facility. he has been someone looking for a job he once had and will be leaving. his replacement could be, we are told by some sources close to this white house, bob bauer, the current personal attorney for president obama. he is also the chief counsel to the democratic national committee, and he was the chief counsel to been a candidate obama's campaign for this white house. a central player in all things obama for a good long while. he happens also to be married to the current communications director at the white house, and many in our audience that may note that she for the last couple of weeks has been the key administration spokesperson assailing the journalistic
integrity at times of this network. that may just be a coincidence. it may not be, but bob bauer is i am told, the leading candidate to robert gibbs, white house press secretary. this does appear to be in the works. rick: major, speaking of the white house policy disagreements with fox recently, yesterday, the white house wanted to offer of an administration official for interviews with all the major news organizations with the exception perhaps of stocks. an attempt to perhaps exclude stocks from those interviews -- and attempt to perhaps exclude box -- fox from those interviews. >> fox through may got an interview with ken feinberg, who gave his verdict on cuts to executive compensation to the seven largest corporations still receiving taxpayer bailout funds. initially, the treasury
department had assembled a list of networks that would get sit- down interviews with ken feinberg. initially, fox was not on that list. the treasury department presented that to the network pool, the five networks in washington that operate cameras to make them happen more easily and rationally, and they said you cannot exclude one of the members, in this case, fox. treasury got that information, check back at the white house. anita dunn said go ahead and grant an interview. we were then granted an interview, and that is how it played out. in this larger atmosphere, all of these things get rationed up to a level of maximum tension. the white house says it was more a misunderstanding, but in his current context, it looked like, and for a time people considered it to beat a premeditated attempt to exclude fox. it was rapidly resolved. fox did get an interview, which is what the white house would
like to focus on, but what preceded it cannot be ignored. rick: so it was the other networks in the poll that came to fox's defense in the end -- the other networks in the pool? >> there is an understanding that if you're going to use one camera to do the work of the other four, to make sure it is simpler, easier, expedited more rationally, then all five must be included. that is the understanding, the pact the networks have. once that was communicated to treasury in somewhat shorter, the treasury communicated to white house, white house got back to treasury, we were slaughtered with an interview. the interview was not as long as i would have preferred -- two minutes instead of the original five, which was true for all the networks, but in the end, access was obtained, and we move on. rick: has anything like this ever happened before? >> i'm not aware of it. i have been in this business
since 2000 and never dealt with a situation like that. i'm not a media historian or white house historian, but in my experience, it was unprecedented. rick: quickly, what is it like being in fox reporter at the white house these days? do you feel like you have some of the same access as your colleagues? >> access is always something every white house doles out as it chooses to. as organizations that compete against one another step in that differently. that is true of everyone has. i will say what i have said before -- it is never about me. this job is a privilege, the highest honor i have had. what i do is tell our audience everything i can and do the best i can day today. rick: you do it well. we are grateful for that. thanks so much. when we come back, one of the largest spending seasons is upon us, and no, we are not talking about the holiday season. the halloween season. in this tough economic climate, folks are still doling out cash for costumes and candy, and that
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this bag, this dufflebag he is carrying, with narcotics. that is when a pharmacist steps in, grabbing a stool, confronting a man, and guess what? it worked. the would-be robber left in the hand it -- empty-handed, but the pharmacist dislocated his shoulder and cut his hand on a night. they are looking for a man just under 6 feet tall way into hundred 30 pounds in a white hooded sweatshirt. -- wayne -- weighing 230 pounds. howling season is in full swing, and that means new jobs for some people. the national retail federation says halloween is one of the top five holidays suspended. experts say people are still willing to drop dollars for entertainment even while watching their wallets during these tough economic times. we go live to retes, one of my favorite stores here in new york city. it is a retail chain focusing on halloween.
it does so every year, opening extra locations and creating more than 1000 temporary jobs. nice to see you. how are howling retailers making out so far this year? >> and very good. it has been very busy today here, people are buying customs like crazy, and they say it really gets busy when people get out of work, and they are not just buying masks and decorations, but across the country, people are also buying tickets to haunted houses. they tell of people who like a fright know there is no time like the present. >> i cannot go the whole year and not do something, and obviously, helene is not something where you can do it next month when you have the money. you either do it or do not. >> last year, consumers spent about $5.8 billion of howling, and some researchers expected to be up to $6 billion this year. rick: that is a lot. what about jobs? what kind of job creation are we seeing?
>> a lot of jobs. they say they are opening 30 problem source just for the season, and that is 1000 jobs there appeared the international association of haunted attractions as they have 25 attractions nationwide, and that is 250,000 jobs for people from cockatoos to pay interest actors jumped down and schering everyone. rick: sounds like fun. thanks very much. as we mentioned at the top of this show, the national transportation safety board says the flight recordings from the northwest airlines plane overshot its destination by 150 miles -- it is missing some crucial information, and so far, there is plenty of speculation about what may have happened. pilots say they were arguing over something, and there were reports that they may have fallen asleep, but our next guest says that a key factor could have been boredom. a former ntsb member will explain coming up in two and a half minutes.
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rick: welcome back. it is the bottom of the hour, and here are the stories we are following today. it is the controversial public option for government-backed health insurance, and as the senator reportedly looks to bring back to life, house speaker nancy pelosi may not have the votes she needs in the house. also, disturbing numbers about the h1n1 outbreak here in this country. how cases of the virus survived a unique stage, and who is most
at risk. and as the yankees and angels do get out for a chance to appear in the world series, the philadelphia phillies anxiously await the winner, and that includes one of sport's most recognizable mascots. we will introduce you to the phillies fanatic coming up. first, nobody was injured, and the passengers allegedly had no idea what was going on. the national transportation safety board is still casing -- taking the case of a northwest airlines, which oversaw the minneapolis airport by 150 miles very seriously. still unclear how all of this happened, but here is what we do know -- the plane was scheduled to land in the twin cities wednesday night. somehow, the pilots missed flight indicators telling them they were near the airport. the flight crew claims they were distracted, having some kind of argument in the cockpit, not paying attention, i guess, but investigators are looking into whether they were fast asleep instead. joining us now is a former ntsb member. dr. gross is also the author of
the best-selling book "managing risk: systematic loss prevention efforts for executives." when people think about the life of an airline pilot, we have a very romantic notion of that job, but you say that there's actually a lot of boredom involved in that profession. please explain. >> no question about it. the airplane is mainly flown on autopilot. very shortly after you are airborne, it goes to autopilot, and that is not because the pilots are lazy. it is because that is the most efficient way to operate an aircraft from fuel consumption and everything else, so it is the proper thing to do to be on autopilot, but on the other hand, if you are sitting there in a cooped up place, about 18 inches away from your phase four hours, you could easily bored by that. rick: if we do eventually find out -- and right now, it is unclear -- that these pilots had
fallen asleep due to boredom or fatigue, he would not be surprised at all? >> i would not. on top of that, we got the situation here are conflict between northwest and delta, as you know. delta is smaller -- delta swallowed northwest recently, and i'm sure they had plenty of things to talk about in the cockpit. on the other hand, i have flown jump seat in this very same aircraft, and i have been able to observe you sometimes have a crew mismatch. for example, you may have a very talkative captain and a very solid first officer, and you can get into all kinds of things from a personality point of view as well. rick: is it true that sometimes i pilot will take a nap as long as his or her co-pilot is awake and their end of it? >> that is even being discussed now for long-range flights, not over domestic u.s., but on overseas flights, the pilots are
entitled to sleep, and even have a place for them to sleep aboard the larger aircraft. sleeping as a crew member is not out of reason. on the other hand, we still have a lot of negotiation going on with the faa over whether a pilot should be allowed to sleep when he is on duty. rick: really quickly -- what is the answer here? how do we make sure that this kind of thing does not happen? >> i think there's a number of things we are going to have to do. they may have to have oral warning that they did not have in this particular case, but they were either inattentive or asleep for nearly an hour, as they should have been descending in minneapolis. rick: dr. gross of omega systems group inc., good to talk to you. thanks for being with us. there is an aroma in the air, the scent of october baseball. can you smell it? if you are a philadelphia
phillies fan, you are probably enjoying the smell sweet success so far. we find out -- we did find out who the phillies will face, you will need their biggest and in to a half minutes. to other people, then don't bother watching this commercial. i've taken precautions all my life to protect my identity. i've been in law enforcement all my life... and my identity was stolen. did you know that identity theft has topped... the federal trade commission's list of consumer complaints... for the last eight years? it's a serious problem for anyone with a social security number.
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the engine turned in a four-run lead against the yankees last night into a two-run deficit, and then came the drama-filled 45 minute seventh inning, and the angels finally pulling out a victory, and the bombers are riding back here earlier today. they still have a pretty commanding lead. game 6 tomorrow night in the bronx, and you can catch the action, but the weather may not cooperate. cold driving rain is expected. there's a corridor in this country, the delaware valley, and if you are from this wonderful spot like i am, you are loving life these days with the champion philadelphia phillies set to defend their title, but even if you do not believe philly's read, chances are you know they're big guy who is clean -- even if you do not bleed phillies red, chances are you know the big guy who is
green. >> the phanatic is this green furry creature from the glove because islands. he has a long neck, protruding snout, and every once in awhile, you get a slick of the tongue if he likes you. i'm considered the best friend of the phillies phanatic. his personal assistant, his chef, his trainer. i go where he goes. we are very close. >> they call me the father of the phanatic. i remember the day he was born. his mother was there, called cb -- phoebe. she did really well with the birth. she was there and i was there, and i was really nervous. i used to smoke cigarettes, and
i smoked a pack or two, did not know whether it would be a girl or boy. we did not know quite what it was at first, but it grew into what we now call the phanatic. >> and you have to remember, nobody had really ever seen a costumed character at a sporting event, and you think of mickey or maybe somebody on a parade float waving their hands. release from the get go, it was kind of a smash hit. >> people laughed at the phanatic more than i anticipated. children love it. whenever he walks the stands, little kids would follow like the pied piper. >> wendy phanatic -- when the phanatic gems into a section, you get this great response. the need to get a hug or give him a big smooch. that really is crazy to see that
reaction, and it is awesome. you never know who is going to be in the crowd. for instance, jack nicholson was in attendance the other night, and the phanatic just happened to have a batman costume, and we did a thing where he came out on the field, and suddenly, they showed jack nicklaus and on our video screen, and the phanatic sees that jack nicholson is here. >> he came over to the phanatic , and nicholson did just like that like he did in the movie when he was the joker. >> we were nervous. we did not know what jack was going to do, but it was great. he had a great time with it. i think mascot is an american art form. i do not know what that says about our culture, but i think the phanatic was given more high fives than any other human or animal or mascot on the planet.
>> i -- rick: i actually still have my phanatic doll after all these years. you can check out realamericanstories.com, including a brand what about the air guitar craze sweeping the nation. when we come back, the fight over health-care taking another twist on capitol hill today. one of the most controversial aspects of the senate plan was considered dead in the water, but now, is the public option actually back on the table? chris wallace has the details when we come right back. prtiouarcl wangr esl.
long cst. w t than omer rick: well, it has been the biggest sticking point in the bitter battle over health-care reform -- the government-run insurance plan that has also been called the public option. today, word some senators could now be warming up to the idea of a public option. remember, it was all but a distant memory in the senate just last week, but we're told a compromise is beginning to emerge, which would give states the ability to either opt in or opt out. a number of senate democrats now said to be looking over the plan, but as has been the case, some liberal senators reportedly saying to compromise still not going far enough.
chris, good to see you. i thought this thing was sort of on life-support, like get the death panel out over this public option, but now, suddenly, it is back. how did this happen? >> it is interesting. i think the smart money in washington, which obviously is not that smart, have thought for some time that they could not pass at public option, not because of opposition from republicans but from moderate democrats who did not want this. it is a government-run insurance plan to compete against private insurers, but it is just like a vampire, the idea that refuses to die, and i think it is because among a lot of liberals in the democratic party, this is such a part of their dna. it is so important for them to get a public option, so it keeps coming back. as you say, two of the ideas are kind of possible compromises that they hoped they could make. one is the federal national
public option, but individual states could opt out of that. or they do not create any federal option, but individuals could pop in and create their own. the other idea is the trigger. you do not set up anything, but it states or the country is unable to come up with the private insurance companies to lower their prices and create a competitive environment within a couple of years, then there would be a trigger, and that would start the public option. it really is still very much in the air, and it will be a question of vote counting. i have to pass something, and i have to pass whatever they think they can, but at this point, if they can get the public option, they are going to go for it. rick: i was reading that even if something does get past this year, a lot of the changes would not take place for five years, which takes us beyond the next presidential election, which would leave the white house in the clear as far as not having to have a bunch of angry independence potentially going
to the polls who do not like the changes that have taken place in their health care over the past several years, but why the delay? why is there this long stretch? it seems like lawmakers have been pushing -- the white house has been pushing to do it now, but the changes will not happen for a long time. >> it is actually politically worse than that because all of the spinach in this, the tax increases, the feast -- fees -- that starts as soon as 2011, but none of the reforms and programs and subsidies start until 2013. there is a very good reason for that -- they need to get some money first. one of the reasons this plan is deficit neutral is because it starts raising money in 2011, but the things that are actually going to be expenditures by the government do not start until 2013, and some of that, as i say, 2015. what are they doing it now, then? because this is so important to the democrats. they have been fighting about this for 60 years, to try to get
it not universal health care, certainly major health-care reform. and president's only get things done usually in their first year when i have as much of a mandate as possible, so if you are going to get this done, you have to get it done this year, even though, as i say, is that comes up front. you do not get dessert until obama's second term if he has won -- one. rick: u can't touch more of chris this and every sunday. this weekend, chris will have the executive vice president of government affairs at the u.s. chamber of commerce. -- you can catch more of chris this and every sunday. that is this sunday. check your local listings. the centers for disease control announcing new numbers on h1n1, including how many children have died from the virus so far. also from the cdc, the latest on the shortage of the h1n1 vaccine.
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death of 95 children. they also say that the virus is now widespread all over the country, increasing in almost every state. take a look at this map, on the health site of foxnews.com. you can get the updated information and the facts on the vaccine. jonathan is live in our newsroom in atlanta. very few people have been able to get their hands on this vaccine so far. what are people saying about the delay and the shortage? >> vaccine availability is increasing steadily but too slowly, a direct quote from thomas freemen. he says that the process of making the h1n1 vaccine, which like seasonal flu vaccine involves a save but antiquated method and is often very slow.
he predicts that it will be a matter of weeks before the h1n1 vaccine becomes readily available for the general public. >> i was hearing that in some places some people are having trouble even getting their hands on the seasonal flu shot. >> you are absolutely right. in the case of the seasonal flu is not so much supply it rather it is unprecedented demand. 6 million americans have already been vaccinated against seasonal flu, two-thirds the number that would normally get one over the course of the entire year. certainly a record for this early in the flu season. rick: how widespread is the flu this year? >> widespread in 46 states. the only exceptions are the states of connecticut, hawaii, new jersey, and south carolina. the ever where else in america
flu activity is widespread. it continues to affect young people disproportionately. according to a phone survey the parents have suggested that one out of five kids have already experienced what their parents have described as flu-like symptoms, but these cannot be confirmed as flu or h1n1. rick: when we come back, a new sign that the recession has finally ended. elisse at georgetown university. wait until you hear the job at one college sophomore has just posted.
rick: then there is this before we say goodbye here on "studio b." while most college students hid the books after dinner, one college student at georgetown is looking for a personal assistant. he says that he is too busy with glasses and homework, according to the job post the assistant would be required to drive him around to activities, organize his closet, manages electronic accounts, and services car. the assistant would be expected to work at a rate of $10 or $12 per hour. the student says that he is completely serious and he has already gotten several responses. i thought that that was why